Ricardo Lopez

Ricardo Lopez

Ricardo Lopez was a senior political reporter for the Reformer.

5 things to know about Minnesota’s $9.3 billion projected budget surplus

By: - February 28, 2022

Minnesota lawmakers have more than $9 billion available to spend, after Minnesota Management and Budget published a new forecast Monday showing an estimated surplus of $9.3 billion.  State coffers are flush, with more than $4 billion already collected in the current biennium, which started July 1, 2021. The rainy-day fund — which is a separate […]

U.S. Rep. Jim Hagedorn dies after two-year battle with cancer

By: - February 18, 2022

U.S. Rep. Jim Hagedorn, the Republican congressman from Minnesota’s 1st District, died after a two-year battle with cancer, his wife announced Friday morning. Hagedorn, 59, was serving his second term. Last summer, he announced a recurrence of his kidney cancer, which he first made public in February 2020.  “It is with a broken heart, shattered […]

Renewed push to legalize sports betting would allow mobile wagering

By: - February 16, 2022

A bipartisan group of state senators outlined a proposal Wednesday to make sports betting — including online wagering — legal in Minnesota, saying their plan would help protect the interests of tribes in Minnesota who currently control gambling.  “We are closer than we’ve ever been,” said state Sen. Roger Chamberlain, R-Lino Lakes, during a morning […]

New election maps will force tough decisions for incumbents, create opportunities for fresh faces

By: - February 15, 2022

Minnesota congressional and legislative maps for the next decade were released by a Minnesota court panel on Tuesday, with new district boundaries reflecting the movement of the state’s population during the past decade.  The Twin Cities metro will gain representation, especially in the Legislature, after its population increased substantially during the decade, while many greater […]

Senate GOP bills would change how Minnesota teachers disclose curriculum to parents

By: - February 14, 2022

Minnesota Senate Republicans on Monday unveiled a series of bills they say would empower parents to review and object to school curriculum.  Four GOP lawmakers, including two running for governor, said they want to enshrine in state law the principle that a parent has a right to direct their child’s education. “Parents know what’s best […]

DFL bills would ban PFAS in cookware, cosmetics and ski wax

By: - February 10, 2022

A Democratic lawmaker is proposing banning PFAS substances from cookware, cosmetics and ski wax, arguing the chemicals in these everyday products present a threat to public health and the environment. State Rep. Ami Wazlawik, DFL-White Bear Township, on Wednesday presented three bills during a House committee hearing that would restrict the use of per- and […]

Senate GOP bills would boost funding for law enforcement, training, transit cops

By: - February 9, 2022

Senate Republicans considered legislation to fund a handful of training and law enforcement programs Wednesday, including giving $2 million to the Ramsey County sheriff’s office for a gunshot detection system.  Lawmakers heard four GOP-sponsored bills that would increase the amount of money to reimburse people pursuing careers as police officers. Another bill from state Sen. […]

Democrats at the Capitol seek swift action to restrict no-knock search warrants

By: - February 8, 2022

House Democratic lawmakers on Tuesday said they would take action on legislation that would impose tougher restrictions on the use of no-knock warrants by Minnesota police departments.  It’s not an outright ban, as some activists and other Democratic elected officials have called for, but it would have prevented the killing of Amir Locke, said state […]

GOP lawmaker opposes ban on no-knock warrants: ‘There are times when you have to use extreme measures’

By: - February 7, 2022

The chair of a powerful Senate committee with jurisdiction over no-knock warrants said he was wary of pursuing new restrictions on their use, rebuffing calls by Democratic lawmakers to take action after Minneapolis police last week killed Amir Locke, a 22-year-old Black man, in a pre-dawn raid. State Sen. Warren Limmer, R-Maple Grove, told reporters […]

Walz calls for further limits on no-knock warrants after police kill Amir Locke in predawn raid

By: - February 4, 2022

Gov. Tim Walz on Friday issued his first public statement following the Minneapolis police killing of Amir Locke, the 22-year-old Black man shot by a Minneapolis SWAT officer during a predawn raid Wednesday. The killing is sparking fresh criticism of no-knock raids, which police say is a way to preserve evidence during investigations because it […]

Senate GOP outlines $65 million plan for tuition, scholarship and bonus plan for police

By: - February 3, 2022

Senate Republicans on Thursday said they plan to offer tuition reimbursement, scholarships and recruitment bonuses to help bolster law enforcement as a profession, unveiling a $65 million proposal just days into the 2022 legislative session. Republican lawmakers have made addressing public safety and rising violent crime in the Twin Cities their top legislative priority. “The […]

The politics of spending will be key to 2022 legislative session

By: - January 31, 2022

The 2022 legislative session opens Monday, with lawmakers returning to St. Paul armed with ideas on how to spend the state’s projected $7.7 billion budget surplus. Those ideas include bold plans that have little chance of being enacted without major compromises on both sides. Senate Republicans want big tax cuts for Minnesotans and businesses, as […]